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Film 'Gallipoli'

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stevebecker

Mate,

 

I did see an interview that other night about Peter Weir and the so called "British Drinking tea" comment in the movie.

 

He wanted to put the blame on the British and not the true reasons like the failure of the Kiwis at Chunak Bair and the leader ship in the 3 LH Bde. Even the main officer ordering the charges was to sound British and not Aussie, as he was. (even as a senior officer he may have sound British as many well eductated men in Australia did back then) .

 

S.B

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brianmorris547

And we should be reminded of what Robert Rhodes James wrote in the preface to the 1989 edition of his book "Gallipoli".

"Public interest in Gallipoli has never really faltered, but was certainly given an immense boost by Peter Weir's beautiful and brilliant film, Gallipoli. Sadly, the film was badly marred by an anti - British streak, culminating in a total distortion of the causes of the disastrous attack by the Ligh (sic) Horse at The Nek - a travesty that would have shocked Charles Bean as much as it did me, and which has recently been corrected in a fine documentary film on the campaign by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. It is melancholy when so many myths of the campaign - especially in Australia - are perpetuated in this manner, especially as the heroism of the Anzacs requires no mythology".

 

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stevebecker

Mate,

 

This so call anti British feeling went on with other Australian films at that time, like the Breaker Morant Movie

 

Where all the blame was put on the British criminal system, not the murder of unarmed Boers by Morant


S.B

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Hyacinth1326
Posted (edited)

In fairness a number of lesser Australian television products have echoed the same anti British themes over the years, 'ANZACS', '1915', 'Deadline Gallipoli'  'The Sullivans' had a  few crude tilts too.   The British functioned as an obstacle to the hero finding his son in 'The Water Diviner'. It is as if the hero had more in common with the Turks.     Remember that sequence from Gallipoli where Mel jumps on a donkey, dons a monocle and makes fun of a British officer ?  I recall a similar sequence in ANZACS which I presume was meant to signify the stand at Dernancourt on the Somme in 1918. The fair dinkum Aussies take up position alongside a Guards detachment led by a stuffed shirt with a monocle.  I would have taken it for a parody had I not known it was meant to be serious.

It is almost as if the British function as a mythic totem against which a sector of Australian society seeks to define itself in terms of national self-image.  And it goes beyond mere cliché.

Edited by Hyacinth1326

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Gunner Bailey

Casualty Figures from Gallipoli:

 

GB & Ireland 21,255 Killed 52,230 Wounded

France  10,000 Killed 17,000 Wounded

Australia 8,709 Killed 19,441 Wounded

New Zealand 2,779 Killed 5212 Wounded

 

Ottoman Empire 86,692 Killed 164,617 Wounded

 

I think the facts speak for themselves. The French seem to be written out of the history of the campaign despite having more people killed than Australia.

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stevebecker

Mate,

 

You should also know these films were ment for a local audience. But they had a life of there own and went all over the world.

 

I don't know if Weir and the destribitors, was after that but it happened.

 

Gallipoli like Breaker Morant were Australians looking at Australians, and attacking the British was always good to stir the pot in Australia.

 

The old hate of the Ashes will continue for ever

 

So I wouldn't worry about the lack of British or other nations, as the same goes for other nations movies on battles, you don't see Aussies being there.

 

Cheers

 

S.B

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Hyacinth1326

Morant was born in Britain.  Edward Woodward was cast presumably because he was British and bore a striking resemblance to Morant.

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phil andrade
Posted (edited)
On 15/05/2019 at 09:08, Gunner Bailey said:

Casualty Figures from Gallipoli:

 

GB & Ireland 21,255 Killed 52,230 Wounded

France  10,000 Killed 17,000 Wounded

Australia 8,709 Killed 19,441 Wounded

New Zealand 2,779 Killed 5212 Wounded

 

Ottoman Empire 86,692 Killed 164,617 Wounded

 

I think the facts speak for themselves. The French seem to be written out of the history of the campaign despite having more people killed than Australia.

 

 

The Kiwis took the heaviest punishment, per capita of population, but they don’t show the same grudge, do they ?

 

Neither do the Canadians, who had their big baptism of fire at almost exactly the same time -  when they were holding the line at Ypres - as the Aussies were landing at Gallipoli.

 

In fact, I think that more Canadians died in a week of fighting in late April 1915 in Belgium than Australians who fell at Gallipoli in the same period.

 

Never mind the Turkish MGs at Gallipoli : it’s the Aussie /yank MG - Mel Gibson - that’s done the British the most damage !😂

 

Phil

Edited by phil andrade

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MikeMeech
On 15/05/2019 at 09:08, Gunner Bailey said:

Casualty Figures from Gallipoli:

 

GB & Ireland 21,255 Killed 52,230 Wounded

France  10,000 Killed 17,000 Wounded

Australia 8,709 Killed 19,441 Wounded

New Zealand 2,779 Killed 5212 Wounded

 

Ottoman Empire 86,692 Killed 164,617 Wounded

 

I think the facts speak for themselves. The French seem to be written out of the history of the campaign despite having more people killed than Australia.

Hi

 

I don't think we should forget Indian Troops, about 1,358 Killed and 3,421 wounded.

 

Mike

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phil andrade

Yes...and that GB & Ireland figure for deaths is understated by several thousand.

 

The Turkish figure for wounded includes about 64,000 evacuated sick.

 

But Gunner Bailey makes the point well, especially regarding the French.

 

Phil

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Gunner Bailey
12 hours ago, phil andrade said:

Never mind the Turkish MGs at Gallipoli : it’s the Aussie /yank MG - Mel Gibson - that’s done the British the most damage !😂

 

Phil

 

He has a habit of doing that - 'Braveheart'

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phil andrade

And to make the cup run over, let’s not forget “ The Patriot “.

 

Phil

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Gunner Bailey
On 15/05/2019 at 23:27, stevebecker said:

Mate,

 

You should also know these films were ment for a local audience. But they had a life of there own and went all over the world.

 

I don't know if Weir and the destribitors, was after that but it happened.

 

Gallipoli like Breaker Morant were Australians looking at Australians, and attacking the British was always good to stir the pot in Australia.

 

The old hate of the Ashes will continue for ever

 

So I wouldn't worry about the lack of British or other nations, as the same goes for other nations movies on battles, you don't see Aussies being there.

 

Cheers

 

S.B

 

I don't care if you think the film was made for a local audience. That's a cop out. It had the biggest budget for any Australian film for years. Murdoch involved as well. Murdoch would not have got involved if the film was for local consumption only.

 

Essentially films like Gallipoli steal history from the countries that really own it and then try to spin it so that they (the makers) look good. The heroic cobber farm workers batting against the Toffs of England. Pile on the sympathy? It's just like Hollywood would like to convince Americans that D Day was an American operation, that they fought alone in the Pacific and far east. Ignore the fact that the little old UK had more deaths from WW2 (military and civilian) than the rather larger USA.

 

"The old hate of the Ashes will continue for ever" The Australians may hate but I can assure you the English just see them as old rivals.

 

You can't sandpaper over the differences there....

 

 

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Hyacinth1326

'The old hate'     It's just cultural immaturity.  Let's just regard it with the pathos it truly deserves.

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phil andrade
Posted (edited)

Does anyone here know how many of the Australian soldiers at Gallipoli had been born in the UK ?

 

A significant number, I would have thought....in the case of New Zealand, perhaps more so.

 

My good friend’s uncle was born and raised in East London and emigrated to New Zealand in 1910.   He enlisted and served with a New Zealand infantry regiment, and was mortally wounded shortly after his arrival on the peninsula  , shot  in the head by a sniper in May 1915, and dying from his wound whilst being shipped to Alexandria, Egypt, where he is buried.

 

Private George Tuckwell, Canterbury Regiment , born in Walthamstow, died of wounds 20 May 1915, aged 28.

 

My pal was born on Anzac Day in 1940 ; his uncle died almost exactly a quarter of a century before he was born, but every birthday he reflects on the connection and was himself invited to attend a special event in Westminster Abbey to commemorate the  Gallipoli centennial, on account of his family link  and coincidental birthday. I think that the NZ government was keen to press the invitation.

 

I don’t think I’ve seen any screen depictions of Australians in the Great War which show this kind of folklore, which surely merits more acknowledgement .  

 

Mel Gibson syndrome forbids it .

 

Phil

Edited by phil andrade

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Hyacinth1326
Posted (edited)

Anybody ever read the Charlton book on Pozieres ?   More than a hint of 'the old hate' in that one, particularly in his highly selective use of personal experience material.  I have seen sources which indicate that more than half of the AIF in 1916 was British born but I am racking my brain trying to find the analysis.   It certainly wasn't Charlton.  I suspect it was Peter Liddle's book on The Somme.

Edited by Hyacinth1326

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phil andrade

“ British born “  in the late nineteenth century must have entailed a significant Irish element : I wonder how many emigrated to Down Under, served in the AIF, and took with them vestigial resentment of English rule.

 

There were radical thinkers who departed British shores for Australia in the generation before the Great War. One such was a member of my own tribe, who founded a bookshop in Melbourne.  He was an anarchist of sorts, a vegetarian believing in free love, and the shop was known as “ The Andrade Bookshop”. It might even still exist.

 

Phil

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Gunner Bailey
8 hours ago, phil andrade said:

Does anyone here know how many of the Australian soldiers at Gallipoli had been born in the UK ?

 

A significant number, I would have thought....in the case of New Zealand, perhaps more so.

 

 

Very good point Phil, but an inconvenient truth for many Aussies.

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MKC
Posted (edited)

The question of how many of the AIF were born in Britain is a interesting one, and one I have not seen answered in any meaningful way. The only way to get a true picture of that would be to look at each individual personnel file and list the answer to 'where born?' on the attestation paper. I think the results might be surprising, not so much as to the number born in Britain, but the numbers born in all sorts of places across the globe. If medical doctors are any indication of the international 'mix' of the AIF, then, roughly, of those who actually listed their place of birth (not all did):

780 Australian

2 Canada

2 China

62 England)

34 Scotland)   131 from the UK

33 Ireland)

3 Wales)

1 Fiji

10 India

2 Italy

1 Malta 

2 Mauritius

14 New Zealand

1 Switzerland

1 USA

 

The flip side, of course, is the numbers of 'born in Australia' who volunteered to serve in the British Army directly, or transferred during the course of the war. There were many, and I wonder how many of them served at Gallipoli. 

 

Many Australians of the period considered themselves as British as the British - the answer to one question on the attestation papers was invariable 'Natural Born British Subject;', often abbreviated to NBBS, it was such a common answer. And if we are being really pedantic, hardly any of the AIF (except the underage ones!) were born in 'Australia' - they were born in the colonies of NSW, Victoria, SA, etc, as the Commonwealth of Australia didn't exist until 1901. 

 

(Opinion comment re film/documentary 'accuracy' deleted ... ) 

 

Mike

Edited by MKC
deleted line that detracted from my main comments

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Hyacinth1326

 'I wonder how many emigrated to Down Under, served in the AIF, and took with them vestigial resentment of English rule'.

 

Depending upon how 'vestigial' that resentment was, why would people harbouring such an ideology fight for British interests in the first place ?

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phil andrade

Perhaps they saw British interests as different from English ones.

 

An Aussie of Irish provenance might harbour resentment against English dominance of the Emerald Isle, and yet see a cause worth fighting for in the establishment of Australia’s international renown.

 

Phil

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Gunner Bailey
3 hours ago, MKC said:

And talking of 'Brit Bashing', even Saving Private Ryan has a swipe at Montgomery in one scene, thereby perpetrating a well-entrenched US attitude to his generalship. 

 

Mike

 

The D Day plan was Monty's but he did go off the rails after that. Can't fault him in North Africa. His behaviour at the time of the Bulge in late 44 was extraordinary (totally ego driven). I can't blame the USA for that.

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593jones

Going slightly off topic, I can remember visiting a cemetery near Messines (don't ask me which one, it was nearly forty years ago!) and seeing a gravestone for an Australian soldier who had been born in Sweden.  Presumably the  soldier had emigrated to Australia at some point and joined up there, to be shipped back to Europe.  Found that rather sad.

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MikeMeech
5 hours ago, MKC said:

 

 

Film makers the world over take liberties with history: unless its is a documentary, don't ever expect complete accuracy. And talking of 'Brit Bashing', even Saving Private Ryan has a swipe at Montgomery in one scene, thereby perpetrating a well-entrenched US attitude to his generalship. 

 

Mike

Hi

 

'Documentaries are 'completely accurate' !?

 

Maybe 'more accurate' than a film for entertainment, although it can be hard to spot the difference on occasion with the re-enactments included to keep the audience interested.

 

Mike 

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Hyacinth1326
Posted (edited)

Documentary makers tend to assume their audience has the concentration span of a gnat.  There are basically two kinds of documentaries, those which simply arrange narrative around footage already to hand and those which organise their material around a concept.  The latter are far rarer than the former. A classic example of the latter is the Ken Burns series about the American Civil War.  It has to be observed that Burns had a huge budget and each programme lasted an hour.  Few if any documentary makers have such luxuries. There were many image repetitions despite the quality of the Burns series but that is inevitable given the 19thc setting. More broadly I have noticed a tendency for many channels to buy in American documentaries then superimpose a British voice-over.

Edited by Hyacinth1326

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